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Is This For Me?

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Stephen Chilcoat

Freshman Member
Jun 23, 2003
Well folks, I'm pretty convinced that this is something I would like to do. I feel I have the drive, work ethic, and ability to be successful in this business. Primarily, the prospects of building something from the ground up and really taking "ownership" for it is very appealing to me. Even if the money isn't "fantastic", it's something that I could really take pride in doing.

My dillema is getting started (common theme). Right now, I have a decent career going. I make about 50K per year and I actually like the job. I just think I would like being an appraiser more because I would be doing it for me and not someone else. I guess you could say I can't picture doing this same job for another 5-10 years. I'd just get too bored with it.

Problem is I have a mortgage to pay, kids to look after etc. My priority is my family, but this is something that I believe I would really love to do....

What do you folks suggest for a person in my situation? What's the best way to get started without sacrificing my income to the point where my family pays the price?


Senior Member
Jan 16, 2002
Don't know where your commin from; are your; Licensed :question: Certified :question: Trainee :question:

If yer a trainee, don't quit yer day job until you git lots of work under yer belt. Woulsn't make a quick decision if ya have a family to support. Jus my opinion.

Frank Lostracco

Junior Member
Mar 13, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
New Jersey
I was in the same boat as you Stephen, The best thing you can do is to do it part time. DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB!! I started 2 years ago on a partime basis and I now have 2000 hours and I have received the OK to take the State Licensing Exam. I do not intend to go full time untill sometime next year.
You can do your inspections on Saturday and late afternoon. Write your reports up on Sunday and evenings. Of course you have no life, put the extra cash comes in handy..( just had an inground pool put in, so the kids are happy!)
If it gets slow it will be easier to ride it out with your mentor, since you still have your day job.
Good Luck,

Stephen Chilcoat

Freshman Member
Jun 23, 2003
I haven't started anything yet. I'm trying to do a thorough job of weighing the risks/ benefits of a carreer change like this. Like I said I have a pretty good carreer going right now, but its just going to get boring. I'm going to get tired of the same old office, same old people, same old job....

In a nutshell.... to me this sounds like the same level of risk any privately owned business has. The market may take a dive, you don't make any money the first 2 or 3 years, there's no guarantee of making a lot of money after 5 years, etc.

The thing that's starting to become more appealing is doing this part-time and keeping my current job. That way I can wait until I'm more convinced that I can make good money before I make the switch....

Plus, I'm in the mortgage busineess right now, so maybe I can make some contacts during my "training" that can benefit me when I go solo....

What do you think?

David Riggs

Sophomore Member
Apr 12, 2002

Franks got the right idea. I am also doing it part time, with a full time job. It has many advantages. One disadvantage is it will take much longer to rack up your hours toward the license (longer than two years anyway depending on how much you like to sleep), but your not putting all your eggs in one basket. If the interest rates climb (or when the interest rates climb) it will be like someone shut off the mortgage faucet and the work will dry up fast. A lot of mortgage brokers and appraisers will fade away due to the lack of work, (LIFO—last in first out). The part time option will allow you to ride this out, if you decide that this gig is for you.

Tip#1, find the smartest, most qualified appraiser out there that will put up with you and stick with them.
Tip#2, speak with your actions, invest your time and your money. Finding a mentor is tough but it can be done. George hit it on the nail on another thread.
Tip#3, develop Teflon skin. You will be asked to comment fraud on a daily or weekly basis(three times last week) from all directions. Don’t stray to the dark side. When the slime monsters come you will learn to smell them… :angry:

Good Luck
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